The betting market for the first touchdown scorer of the Super Bowl is a tough one to crack, simply because it’s so dependent on the randomness of the coin toss. Things are much clearer after the coin is flipped, because NFL teams that correctly call heads or tails now defer to the second half in nearly every instance. During the 2022 regular season, teams that won the coin toss elected to receive the opening kickoff only 22 times out of 272 opportunities.
Super Bowl first TD odds and analysis
This applies to both teams that are playing Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles won the coin toss an NFL-high 13 times during the regular season but deferred to the second half in every single instance. The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t quite as lucky with their coin-toss luck, winning it only eight times in 17 games, but they deferred seven times. Chances are, whichever team loses the coin toss on Sunday will be getting the ball first.
If I were betting into this market — which has had some movement during the week — I would probably lean toward an Eagles player. Per Sharp Football Analysis, Philadelphia has scored on 63.2 percent of its opening drives this season, including the playoffs — only one team, the Chicago Bears, had a higher percentage — and scored a touchdown on 52.6 percent of them, the best rate in the league.
The Minnesota Vikings were the only other NFL team to reach a 50 percent touchdown percentage on their opening drives, and the average touchdown percentage on opening drives for the NFL as a whole was just 21.8 percent in the regular season, per TruMedia, the lowest since 2017. The Eagles also have gone for it on opening-drive fourth downs six times this season, tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the NFL lead, and have converted five straight, including in the NFC championship game against the 49ers (on an opening drive that ended in a Miles Sanders touchdown).